Scientists Sink Their Teeth Into Shark Study


Scientists from the Southwest Fisheries Science Center's Fisheries Resources Division recently completed an 18-day survey along southern California's coastal waters to catch, tag, and release common thresher sharks.  The survey was conducted onboard the F/V Outer Banks, and 412 thresher sharks were successfully tagged and released during 47 sets.  This was the highest catch total since the inception of the survey in 2003.  Common thresher sharks are the most commercially important shark in California, and this study increases scientists' knowledge of the status of the stock, their biology, and movement patterns.  Scientists measure each shark's length, determine its gender, take a small piece of skin for DNA analyses, and in some cases, a small blood sample, before tagging the shark and releasing it.  Several NMFS employees, volunteers, and collaborators from NWFSC, SDSU, SIO, CSUF, CICESE (Mexico), and University of Puerto Rico participated and benefited from the research opportunity.  Additionally, Deborah Brennan from the North County Times came out on the final day of the cruise and wrote the following story: previous link is a link to Non-Federal government web site. Click to review NOAA Fisheries disclaimer

 Common thresher shark being released
Photo credit: Hayne Palmour IV, North County Times